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Making of

Chris: Hello everyone! I thougth posting an interview with Caterina would be a great way to get to know her and learn more about our manga. Caterina, can you tell us about where you are from?

皆さん、こんにちは!漫画のことをもっと知りたいと思ってる人のためにイタリアから来た漫画家、そして私の大好きな友達Caterinaとインタビューをやりたいと思っています。Caterina, まず、イタリアについてちょっと話してください!地元はどんな町だろう?


Caterina: Hi everyone, I'm from Lucca, it's a small city in Italy between Pisa and Florence. It may seem unassuming but it actually hosts the world's second-largest comic convention, second only to the Japanese Comiket. So, in a way, you could say I grew up around comic culture.



Chris: I had no idea it was such a cool city! How did you become interested in manga?



Caterina: I used to watch anime as a child, but did't know where these cartoons I liked came from. My father introduced me to Italian comics, Bande Desinee, American comics, and I read everything casually. Only when I was 11 I was introduced to Japanese comics, completely on accident, and I fell in love instantly. I realize now that what really made my heart skip a beat was that the protagonist of the first story I read was a girl. Just a normal, average high school girl. If you think about it, most comic heroes are strong, capable and generally male, so as a young girl I had fun reading but I couldn't possibly relate to the protagonist. So when I first read a story with a protagonist I could relate to, and that faced problems I was facing too, made me fall in love with the genre.

こどもの時からずっとアニメを見てきたけど日本からのものだと知らなかった。お父さんがイタリアのコミックとアメリカのコミックを最初紹介したんだけどあまり興味がなかった。11歳ぐらいはじめて日本からの漫画を読んで、すぐはまった。一番最初読んだ漫画の 主人公は高校生の女性で、いろいろの似てるところからあったから好きになった。普段アメリカかイタリアのコミックのヒーローは男性だからさ。。。


Chris: I can understand that. I felt that way about the first yaoi manga I read. Why did you decide to become a manga artist?



Caterina: It came from my admiration of Shoujo manga, I thought "I want to draw like that!" and so I started reading more and trying to understand the genre, mocking the style of my favorite artists. Even as a small kid I always liked drawing, and I would draw unicorns or cats for hours on end, often I would prefer drawing over doing anything else. I used to go places with a mini backpack full of art supplies! I would say it was a natural progression: I always drew so it was only a matter of time for me to pick this path and everyone saw it coming from the start. Maybe that's why my parents weren't surprised when I told them I wanted to become a comic artist.

少女マンガのおかげ。読みながら、こんなにきれいな絵描けるようになりたいと思った。好きな漫画家の絵をまねして、そのままでよく練習した。漫画を読む前から暇な時間があったら絵をよく描いたけど。動物の絵が多かったかな?外で遊ぶより絵を描くの方がすきだった。いつもかばんに鉛筆と紙が沢山入ってた!両親に漫画家になりたいと言ったら お母さんもお父さんも全然驚いていなかった。w


Chris: Again, I totally get that. I think my mom and my dad always knew that I was going to be an actor as well. It seems so obvious now. What do you think about yaoi?




Caterina:  I used to really be into the genre, but ended up distancing myself from it a few years back.
When I was younger I didn't see the issues with the portrayal of gay culture and women in the media,
but came to see some concerning things being considered "classic" and took a few steps back.
Even if I don't participate in the community lately, I still do my fair share of reading and occasionally indulge in drawing some in private with friends,
so I was thrilled to receive Tokyo Cowboy's offer.
I knew I could finally contribute to the genre in a good way, and give Yaoi fangirls a way to see things in the perspective of a real gay man,
rather than what a girl imagines one to think.

やおいはむかしよく読んだけど数年前からもうあまり。。。よく読んだ時、あまり社会的なことについて考えなかったんだけど、たまにやおいに出てるゲイの男性はすごく変わってるからイメージがゲイの社会によくないなと思った。。。女性のキャラクターもそう。 まぁ、面白そうな話があればもちろん読んでみる。そして同人誌はたまに友達のために描く。 でもいつかチャンスがあればもうちょっと現実的な話を描きたいなと思ってた。ただ女性の創造的なゲイラブストーリじゃなくて。

Chris:  That is a really interseting point.  Yaoi and reality tend to be a bit different, right?  It is a fun fantasy though.  
How did you become involved with Tokyo Cowboys?


Caterina:  Meeting you was like destiny, bumping into each other three years ago completely by accident,
in a small restaurant near his home and the apartment I rented for the two months I was going to spend in Japan.
I do at least one trip every year, I started at 14 and simply never stopped, always picking a new place wherever was available.
At this point, Tokyo Cowboys was about to shoot their first movie, and they were in need of a logo, so I was commissioned one.
I kept coming back to the same place ever since, becoming little by little part of the team.
Even if I don't stop in Japan for long, there's always a place for me and I make sure to fuel the team with plenty of Italian coffee to keep the spirits high.

運命みたいな出会いだった。3年前ぐらい、近所のカフェでクリスに始めて会って、そして結局クリスの家から私のアパートまでは30秒ぐらいの場所!そのときTokyo Cowboysの一番最初の映画を撮るところだったよね?Tokyo Cowboysはまだロゴがなかったから私が描くことになった。 14歳から年に一回東京に来てるけど毎回アパートは違う場所だった。Tokyo Cowboys知り合ったから勿論毎年クリスがすんでる家の近くアパートを借りる。そして3年の間Tokyo Cowboysをできるだけ応援してる!映画のことがあまり分からないけど美味しいイタリアコーヒーをよく作ってるね。w

Chris:  We still use that logo before all of our films today!  What did you think about "The Actor and the Model?"

Caterinaが描いてくれたロゴはまだまだ映画の最初から出るよ!ちなみに”The Actor and the Model"はどうだと思った?今までとちょっと違う作品なので。。。

Caterina:  I went to watch the movie expecting the usual Tokyo Cowboys quality, which I fell in love with time and again, but actually got something more from it.
Being a real story told with a first person perspective, it touched me deeply.
I would describe it as if reading pages from someone's diary,
I knew a little here and there of the bigger picture but seeing it happen on the screen was very emotional for me. Even if I could never go through the exact same experience myself, I could feel through the screen what went into making this movie.
It wasn't just watching a movie, it was watching someone's life. It was a completely new Tokyo Cowboys experience.

Tokyo Cowboysのスタイルが大好きだから見る前から楽しみにしてきて、見たら他のTokyo Cowboys映画より感動した。 今回は本当の話だから誰かの日記を読んでる気がした。似てる経験はつんでいないけど、映画を見ながらすごくモデルの気持ち理解できたと思う。 とてもリアル、とても現実的。。さすがTokyo Cowboys!

Chris:  Thank you!  That's so flattering since you have been with us since the beginning.  What made you want to draw the manga for us?


Caterina:  As I mentioned before, I don't exactly agree with the portrayal of gay people in Yaoi, so the chance of making a BL from a real story made me accept right off the bat. It happened at a great point for me too, because I had focused on drawing girls too much last year and the chance of getting to draw men again was exciting.
I knew that working with you would be a good experience, not only we're good friends but we match well in work ethics and pacing,
so it all went even more smoothly than I expected. I think it was a new experience for him too, because a movie requires a lot of people but the manga was done just between me and him.
Chris was fantastic during the entire process, I mostly worked on the pages at his kitchen table and he'd sit by me working on new scripts or simply asking questions about what I was doing. He kept saying "thay's so interesting!", it became an inside joke between us.

前も言ったけど、今まで読んだやおいよりもうちょっと現実的な話はいつか描きたいなと思った。あと、クリスのペースとスタイルは私と似てるからとても楽だった。思ったよりページを早く描いて、漫画がいつの間にかいい形になった。 クリスにも勉強になったでしょう?クリスはいつもすごい人が沢山いる映画現場とかテレビ現場で仕事してるけど、今回3人だけで頑張った!気持ちよくクリスのキッチンで絵を描きながらクリスが新しい脚本を書いた。いいチームたったと思う。

Chris:  It was a really great working enviornment!  Caterina is super easy to work with!  What can you tell us about future stories?


Caterina:  Chris is already working on other stories, expanding on the relationship between the main characters before what happens in the movie,
and while I won't be able to stay in Japan and draw new pages at his table I look forward to make this collaboration go on.
We thought together about the ending, as these pages illustrate the beginning it would make sense to draw the end, the part that the movie doesn't show...
But I was not convinced. What I liked most about the story was that the ending wasn't a neat cut, it left so much open and so many questions,
the credits rolling shocked me.
"The Actor and the Model" is as real as it gets, and in real life you don't get to have a clean ending, that's what made the movie so powerful to me and even if I personally know how the story ends past the credits, I think it would just subtract from the movie. We decided against doing an ending.

クリスはもう続きのシナリオを書いた!勿論映画の前をもうちょっと皆に見せたいと思ってる。残念ながらイタリアから帰ってから次の話を描き始めると思うけどこれからを描くのが楽しみ。 映画の後の話も描こうかと思ったけどやっぱりやめておく。映画の終わりははっきりしていないから自分でいろいろ創造できる。エンドロールが始まったらショックだった!!!でもそのショックはTAATMのチャームポイントのひとつだと思う。 現実と同じように、最後はハッピーで分かりやすいとはかぎらない。。

Chris:  For peopel who want to learn more about you, where can they find you?  How can we learn more about you?


Caterina:  My Facebook page is in Italian, as is my school's website but we're working on an English version,
and would love to expand to America. For now, you can find me on Instagram for works in progress and sketches or Pixiv for more polished works,
but feel free to contact me through any of these channels! I look forward to hearing from you.


Chris:  Caterina, thank you so much for your time!  I look forward to working more with you in the future!




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